Rows await DA’s new Cape leader
Bonginkosi Madikizela was yesterday elected the new DA leader in the Western Cape and was immediately confronted by a feud and potential spending scandal.
Madikizela defeated Lennit Max in a tightly contested election. Madikizela’s fellow MEC Albert Fritz was elected deputy, beating Masizole Mnqasela. Anton Bredell was retained as chairman.
His election makes Madikizela the favourite to succeed his close ally, Helen Zille, as provincial premier in 2019.
He will now need to deal with a falling out between Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille and mayoral committee member JP Smith as well as a growing controversy over municipal spending on De Lille’s private home in Pinelands.
De Lille has been accused by the ANC of robbing the poor after it emerged that R140 000 spent on burglar-proofing her home was budgeted for use in Khayelitsha.
The ANC leader in the Cape Town city council, Xolani Sotashe, said yesterday that the money had been intended for the upkeep of a council building in Khayelitsha.
But Dirk Smit, the speaker of the Cape Town metro, defended the spending. He said the council had moved to a new building. Smit insisted that no politician had been involved in the decision to allocate the money to the mayor’s home.
The Sunday Times has seen City of Cape Town documents showing that the money was for operational costs amounting to R702 000 in the city’s sub-council 24, which includes parts of Khayelitsha.
Sotashe said: “The money should have been used in the area where people live in absolute squalor.”
He claimed another R355 000 had been spent on security cameras at the mayor’s home. This would amount to irregular expenditure because it represents a budget deviation of more than R200 000 that was not approved by the council.
Smit said all security measures had been done strictly in accordance with the law, police recommendations and procedures for the lowest tender.
The speaker said the security cameras remained the property of the city and would be removed when De Lille ceased to be mayor. Because the money spent on the cameras was the result of an open tender, no deviation notice was necessary.
The DA leadership has barred both De Lille and Smith from speaking to the media about the dispute.